Lately the bane of her weekly cleaning regimen has been Justin's room. Justin is her 30 year-old nephew. He occupies the room next door. His most recent incarnation is "The Music Man" -- not the Robert Preston/76 Trombones music man. More like the Puff Daddy music man.
He sits in his room and plays CDs and listens through his head phones and occasionally sings along while beating on a painfully out-of-tune guitar that's missing some strings. He earns stickers for not insulting the food at mealtimes and I make him mix CDs when he collects a week's worth of stickers. It sometimes takes a while.
He's gone through several other iterations. For a long time he ran around the house with a spray bottle after he became a "Bug Sprayer". His uncle worked for a pest control agency, so Justin decided he was a bug spray man.
Later after a series of funerals he took to wearing a tie and when people would visit he would direct them to their seats and show them where to go to view the body.
Then he went through his "Weatherman" period. Not the terrorist group, but the TV type weatherman. He entertained us for years with his colorful weather reports.
Now he's a music man with the T-shirt to prove it.....until this morning.
Suddenly, this morning during the weekly struggle to get Justin to pick up the CDs and tapes scattered all over the floor so Sheila could vacuum and dust his room, Justin transformed into a new super hero -- Tidy Man!
Before we knew what was happening, the boy had picked up his floor and presented himself to Sheila, dustrag in hand, prepared to DUST. Sheila spritzed his towel and off he went tediously dusting every corner of his room. But it didn't stop there! She stepped out of the room for a minute and he fired up the vacuum cleaner - an instrument he has never touched to my certain knowledge.
For the rest of the morning he was Sheila's own personal mini-me, running around washing windows and dusting lamps and tables. Shela sneaked around behind him and redid it, of course, but it was really fun to watch. He did give it his all. Sheila finally talked him into going back to his room to "pay his bills", something he's seen his Dad do. He does it on his TV in lieu of a computer. Before he went, though, he went around and disinfected all the door knobs including the bathroom door.
Then, he looked straight at me with a stern look and said, "If you need to go to the bathroom, you'll have to go down to the Texaco."
Later as he was getting ready to go upstairs, I decided to get up and get myself a piece of the pound cake I made last night. Justin looked at me horrified. "How can you do this to me," he moaned. "We just cleaned that!"
I nearly died laughing. I'll remind him of that tonight when he dumps leftover potato chips in my nice clean sink!